There’s been speculation for years on Anderson Cooper’s personal life, but he chose not to talk much about it until recently, when he responded to a Daily Beast writer’s email asking for opinions on the way people in the public eye choose to come out.
The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.
I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.
Cooper says that while the world is making greater strides every day towards giving the LGBT community more rights, the fact is that bullying, discrimination, and violence against people based on their sexual preferences is still a huge problem, and he wants to include his voice in the fight for fairness. He also wants to abolish the rumors that he is trying to hide a part of himself which he has never kept a secret from those closest to him; he simply didn’t think it necessary to speak publicly about his personal life as a journalist.
I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn’t set out to write about other aspects of my life.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.
Being a journalist, traveling to remote places, trying to understand people from all walks of life, telling their stories, has been the greatest joy of my professional career, and I hope to continue doing it for a long time to come. But while I feel very blessed to have had so many opportunities as a journalist, I am also blessed far beyond having a great career.
I love, and I am loved.
Cooper has been in headlines most recently for some hilarious giggle fits he had on air, the most popular being when he relayed a story about actor Gerard Depardieu.
While Cooper is receiving quite a bit of support from the LGBT community, some aren’t happy with the way he chose to come out. Gawker media chief Nick Denton tweeted about it today:
Anderson Cooper: you seek “visibility” and bury your coming-out announcement. http://t.co/lbTBbHnM
Did Anderson Cooper come out right? Discuss with me and Aaron Hicklin on Gawker! http://t.co/5HPWW5Y2